The IU Food Institute dedicated its 2020-21 seminars to the topic of food and race. Seen locally, nationally and globally the intersection of race and food highlights important issues of racial inequity in areas that include land access, farming, food processing, and access to adequate and healthy foods. Renewed awareness regarding indigenous foodways around the world is also pointing the way to a more sustainable future. In the present context of rising nationalisms and a pandemic that impacts already disadvantaged racial groups more than others, these issues take on special urgency.
Shellye Suttles is an assistant professor in IU's Oneill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is an agricultural economist with a focus on local and regional food systems, municipal food policy, agricultural energy production, and climate change's impact on agricultural land use. Brandon Cosby is the Executive Director of Flanner House of Indianapolis, Inc., Indiana's oldest community service agency for the Black Community focused on moving people from crisis and instability to a place of self-reliance and independence.